Semi-Annual Sale Shopping: Pro Tips, Steals & Deals

Budgeting, Shopping Tips

Every day we get bombarded with ads, commercials, and coupons tempting us to spend. But have you ever gone to an “AMAZING” semi-annual sale only to walk away $100 poorer and disappointed? Never again! Get your calendar out — we’ve compiled a list of the TRULY fabulous sales that are worth your time and money.

African American woman shopping at the mall, from Fun Cheap or Free

No more spending on you thought were the best prices of the year! We've spent hours and hours calling corporate offices, visiting stores, and scouring the internet to narrow down some of the BEST sales you shouldn't miss each year. We’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to! Go ahead and cross one thing off your to-do list!

*Note: When you click the links in this post, we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

We're sharing killer deals from all sorts of stores, as well as insider tips to help you scout out similar sales at your favorite places to shop. Put these principles to use to save big. Let’s go shopping!


When we asked members of our Freebs to share their favorite sales, Bath & Body Works got the most votes. Hands down. Why? Because their stuff is bomb! Who doesn't love those lotions and body sprays?! Plus, they’ve got the perfect gifts for just about anyone on your list. If you want to shop the next Bath & Body Works sale, here’s what you need to know:

  • When – June and January
  • What’s on Sale – Their June sale is everything kept over from their last sale, PLUS warehouse items. Each sale they throw in a “twist” to make things new, different, and exciting. The sales always change, and even the stores themselves don't know exactly what the sale will entail until right before it happens. Oooohh, mysteeeeerious…
  • The Best Items to Buy – What can you find at the sale? It changes all the time, but one thing is consistent. The prices rock! At previous sales, Wildflowers were marked down to $3, soaps were 50% off, and lotions were as low as $3.
  • How to Save Even More – You need to get on the Bath & Body Works email list. JUST DO IT! If they ask for your email at the register, give it to them – even if they have it already! This allows their computer to track you and your spending habits (big brother? are you out there?). That way they can tailor their coupons to the items you're interested in, and buy the most. Plus, the more you shop there, the more coupons and freebies they'll send you!

Now that you know everything there is to know about stocking up on the best bath and body products, let’s switch gears and talk about hair and beauty! 


racks of makeup at cosmetics store, from Fun Cheap or Free

The makeup, the hair products, the samples, and accessories — we love it all! Ulta is just TOO much fun, but if you’re not careful, you can blow through a ton of cash in just a few minutes. Shopping their biggest sales of the year is the best way to stock up and save big! Here’s what you need to know:

  • When – Typically in September and February, Ulta runs their MEGA sale, better known as 21 Days of Beauty. 
  • What to Know – Many of the deals are different each time, but you can score up to 50% off top-selling brands like Tarte, Benefit, It Cosmetics, and Clinique. It’s the perfect time to stock up on several months’ worth of beauty products.
  • The Best Items to Buy – One of the best bargains available is their large pump bottles of shampoo and conditioner! Buy while the price is right and you may not even need shampoo again until the next sale rolls around. 
  • How to Save Even More – If you get Ulta gift cards for Christmas, hold off and save them for 21 Days of Beauty! It’s also worth signing up for Ulta’s Ultamate Rewards program. You can earn points with every purchase, redeem those points for freebies, and get access to discounts and birthday surprises!

Use our 10-minute makeup tutorial to put all of those beauty products to good use! 😉 Alright, you know when to buy your favorite hair and makeup products. What about PJs, undergarments, and more? Let’s talk about it! 


The Victoria's Secret semi-annual sale is their biggest sale of the year – by a landslide – and really is a great time to stock up on some basics…or not-so-basics-but-still-really-fun-to-have. Here’s everything you need to know:

  • When – June/July and December/January
  • What to Know – The dates for these mega sales change a bit from year to year, but they typically have one blowout event in the late June-early July timeframe, and then another towards the end of December. 
  • The Best Items to Buy – Stock up on bras, panties, and swimsuits! The prices don’t get any better than they do during these sales. 
  • How to Save Even More – If you shop at Victoria’s Secret during November or February, you can score a rewards card, which gives you a $20 coupon with a $20 purchase. Cash that in on any purchase of $50 or more! While the promotion doesn’t apply to clearance items, you can use it on sales. 

Pamper yourself, mamas! You deserve it. Now, let’s take care of those kiddos. If you’ve got little ones, you’ll love this next sale. 


children's clothing on hangers, from Fun Cheap or Free

Anyone with kiddos probably knows by now that The Children's Place has some great stuff, at great prices. Their PJs are to die for. Not even kidding. This is the sale you need to keep your eyes peeled for so you can stock up on clothes for those kiddies that just grow waaaay too fast! Here’s the scoop:

  • When –  They run in January and June or July. January = clearing out their winter merch, gearing up for the new spring stuff.
  • What to Know – Deals vary with every sale. You could see 30% off everything, 2 for $1 accessories, etc. We’ve made out like a bandit with their entire racks of clothes that are marked down to $2.99, $1.99, and….wait for it…yes, even $0.99. Beats the fast food dollar menu if you ask us.
  • The Best Items to Buy – Snowsuits! If you live in any area that ever gets snow, you know how dang expensive that snow gear can be! Stock up in January while it’s on clearance. We once got an entire suit for a whopping $0.99. Score!
  • How to Save Even More – Sign up for the Children’s Place emails. Are you guys convinced that it’s worth it to sign up for emails?! 

You’re about to have the best-dressed kids in town! Now, let’s get your home in top-top shape. Ready for more deals?


HGTV fans, this one's for you! If you love bringing those Pinterest ideas to life, then the Kirkland’s semi-annual sale is a dream come true. From super stylish furniture to adorable decor, there’s something for everyone’s taste. We’ve got the skinny:

  • When – The dates vary from year to year, but typically in July and December. 
  • What to Know – Their semi-annual sales include online and in-store purchases, but if you place an online order for pickup, you’ll receive a 15% off coupon good for any purchase in-store. 
  • The Best Items to Buy – We all love the home decor at Kirkland’s, but their furniture is awesome, too. During their two big sales, you can find furniture marked down as much as 60%. Stock up on those big ticket items while you can! 
  • How to Save Even More – Okay, we know we’re starting to sound like a broken record, but if you sign up for Kirkland’s emails, you’ll get a 20% off coupon. Sweet!

We can’t wait to see what you buy! Now, let’s switch gears for a minute. We told you we rounded up a deal for just about everything, and we weren’t lying. Time to buy some shoes! 


woman bent down to tie sneakers, from Fun Cheap or Free

Workout enthusiasts, unite. New Balance running shoes and sneakers are some of the best around. Find out how to stock up on the biggest discounts of the year:

  • When – June and December 
  • What to Know – Pretty much everything gets marked down during these killer sales! You can score a pair of running shoes for as little as $35. What, what?!
  • The Best Items to Buy – We all know and love their sneakers, but don’t sleep on the athletic gear! You can find yoga pants for 50% off. The backpacks are usually a great deal, too! 
  • How to Save Even More – Subscribe to their email list and you’ll get a 15% off coupon for your next New Balance purchase

Working out is SO much more fun with new gear, right? Go ahead and buy those new sneakers, girl! Ready for the next big deal? Let’s keep going. 


Who doesn’t love the comforting glow of a lovely candle? The scents from Yankee Candle give us all. the. feels. But let’s keep it real. Those are some expensive candles. Good news, though, freebs. You don’t have to bust your budget to enjoy those pumpkin spice candles. Here’s when you can find the killer deals:

  • When – December/January and June
  • What to Know – We’re obsessed with the cozy scents of Yankee Candle, but it’s SO dang expensive if you pay full price. During their semi-annual sales, you can save up to 75% and find tons of BOGO deals. Hands down, these are the best times to stock up on candles. Go ahead and buy extras to give as Christmas gifts. You’ll be glad you did. 
  • The Best Items to Buy – Scoop up large jar candles! Those things last forever. Some of their most popular scents get marked down to 5 for $55, which adds up to almost $100 in saving! Run, don’t walk. 
  • How to Save Even More – You’re gonna want to sign up for their emails. Shocking, we know! When you join their email list, you’ll receive a 20% off coupon good for any purchase of $25 or more

Now, go light your favorite candle and stick with us! We’ve got a few more deals to discuss. The next one is fun for the whole family!


Old Navy has something for everyone. You can outfit your whole family in one quick trip! They’re notorious for affordable, yet fashionable, clothes. And while you can find awesome prices all year, they really take things up a notch during their semi-annual sales, so mark you calendars! We’ve got the deets:

  • When – January and July 
  • What to Know – During their semi-annual sale you can find clothing for the whole family priced as low as $3.99 per piece! PSA: don’t miss their annual flip flop event in June, either. You can get their colorful and comfy flip flops just a buck! Can’t beat that. 
  • The Best Items to Buy – Tees, tanks, shorts, pants, dresses, you name it! If you’re shopping online, sort by the lowest price to find the best deals. Shopping in store? Look for price tags that end in .47. Those prices will never go any lower!
  • How to Save Even More – If you like to shop online, you’ll love this sale! Spend $50 or more and score free shipping. To save big all year, make sure to sign up for their texts! They send exclusive deals all the time! 

Phew! Anyone else in the mood to go shopping? Yup. Us, too. Not so fast, though. We’ve got one more incredible sale to cover. Keep taking notes, Freebs. 


women's clothing on hangers, from Fun Cheap or Free

We love shopping at Loft! They have the comfiest, chicest, most versatile clothes–perfect for days at the park or date nights. If you’re a big fan of the Loft, we bet you’ve shopped one of their Warehouse sales. If not, you are missing out! Let’s get you up to speed:

  • When – May, July, and October
  • What to Know – Technically, the LOFT warehouse sales aren’t semi-annual because they happen three times per year. Bonus, Jonas! These sales are just too good not to mention. In October, you can stock up on summer gear for next year. You’ll find $10 shorts, $16 dresses, and $8 tops. Insider tip: if you see an item ending in .88, know that price is final. 
  • The Best Items to Buy – All the deals are so stinking good, but you can find some of the biggest savings on dresses and pants. Many of their dresses retail for $100 or more, but you can find them for less than $20 during warehouse sales. Go for the big ticket items to save the most! 
  • How to Save Even More – If you’re a student or teacher, rejoice! You can save 15% all year! And yep, you guessed it. Sign up for their emails! You’ll get a coupon good for $25 off a $100 purchase. 

Well, there you have it. You’re a sure enough semi-annual sale shopping pro! Our only question is which store are you hitting up first? Let us know in the comments!

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1 Comment

  1. Wendy

    I’m so glad you included Nordstroms. Just wanted to chime in that I believe the Anniversary Sale is where the best value is at. We don’t have the greatest thrift stores so I do my annual back to school shopping at Nordstroms. We use a personal shopper, we are done in an hour and I find that most tops and tees are the same price as Target.

    I blogged about it here.


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